Khalil (Pashtun tribe)

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The Khalil (Pashto: خليل‎) is a Pashtun tribe which is said to have descended from a son of Ghoryakhel. They primarily live in the Peshawar valley of Pakistan with a minority inhabiting the Nangarhar, Herat, Ghazni, and Qandahar provinces of Afghanistan. The Khalils settled to the west and south-west of Daudzai tribe. GhoryaKhel settled around Peshawar and the dividing center between the Khalil and Mohmand area is the first village Sheikhan after the Bara stream to the eastwords claimed both by the Khalil and Mohmand. There are eight main sub-division in the Khalil tribe.

  • Salarzai
  • Mattezai
  • Barozai
  • Ishakzai
  • Talarzai
  • Noorzai
  • Afuzai
  • Akazai



Ghoryakhel had four sons Daulatyar, Zeerani, Khalil, Chamkani tribe, and Daulatyar had two sons Momand, Daudzai. The Khalil originally lived in Ghwara Marghay Arghistan Qandahar Afghanistan and in the Qalat Zabul and Ghazni. Khalil Mattezai still living on the basin of the Tarnak River north of Ghazni and Sheikh Matte BaBa Shrine is close to Tarnak River on the Hill. After the Mongols invaded the region in the 13th century, the Khalils, along with the Momands who were also formerly settled in central Afghanistan, were driven out. The Khalil first migrated northeastwards to Kabul and then to Nangrahar further eastwards along the Kabul River. The Khalil came in 1530-1535 from Nangrahar to their present settlement in the Peshawar valley according to the Babur history book Baburnama and Pashto History Book Pata Khazana written by Abdulhai Habibi. [1]

A section of Khalil tribe to the north-west, known as the Garhis, was originally the joint property of the Khalil and Daudzai tribes. It was subsequently given as seri to Mians from whom the Khalil Arbab purchased it and latter they are the owners. Different Governments (Mughals and the British, etc.) in the past bestowed the title of Arbabi on some powerful individuals of some tribes for siding with them in different wars and conflicts with the other non complying tribes and people, mainly Pukhtoons, in different times. they would also be given certain responsibilities/services which they would render on behalf of the governments of the time.

The Khalils and their ally the Afridis were first mentioned in the memoirs of Mughal Emperor Babur, as violent tribes in need of subduing.[13] The Khalil first came to Peshawar in 1530-1535 and fought against Dilazak Pashtun tribe with a help of other Ghoryakhel, Momand, Daudzai, Chamkani, and now Khalil tribe controlled west side of Peshawar close to Khyber Pass, which has historically served as a corridor connecting the Indian subcontinent with Afghanistan and Central Asia. Its strategic value was not lost on the Mughals, to whom the Khalils were implacably hostile.[14] Over the course of Mughal rule, Emperors Akbar and Jahangir both dispatched punitive expeditions to suppress the Khalil, tribe to little success.[15]

The Khalils, Momand and Mohmands once destroyed two large Mughal armies of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1672 in a surprise attack between Peshawar and Kabul, at Lalpura district of Nangarhar Province and in the winter of 1673 in an ambush in the mountain passes.[16] The emperor himself had to lead an army into the mountains to suffocate the revolt and liberate the mountain passes, and even then another large army was "badly mauled" in Bajaur.[17] Allegedly, only five Mughals made it out of the battle alive.

In 1897 suddenly Khalils rose, captured all the posts in the Khyber held by their own countrymen, and attacked on forts close to Peshawar Valley. In the February 1908 the restiveness of the Mulagori tribe again made a British expedition necessary, but the campaign was speedily ended, though in the following April they had again to proceed against the Mohmands, the situation being complicated by an incursion from Afghanistan.


Ghoryakhel tribes settled around Peshawar. East side of Peshawar Chamkani tribe, West side Khalils tribe, North side Daudzai tribe, South side Momand tribe. Since 16th century, most Khalils are residing in the west and south west of Peshawar Valley. The head of the Khalil tribe was Arbab Jehangir Khan Khalil (Late) and now his son Arbab Alamgir Khan Khalil and also Haji Auranzeb Khan Astanzai he was not the head of whole khalil tribe, but he had truly represented the tribe of Shahi Bala, Shahi Payan, Hajizai Kundi Muhammad Shah, Sardar Garhi, Tehkal bala, Tehkal payan, Palosi, Regi, Patwar, Mulazai, Lakarai, Abdara, Sufaid Dheri, Pawaka, Nawan Kali Payan (Naodeh Payan), Nawan Kali Bala (Naodeh Bala), Peshta Khara, Landi akhone ahmad, sango, sarband, Achini bala, Achini payan, Haji Banda, Garhi Sikandar Khan are also the major residing areas of Khalils. The geographical location of Khalil is 20 Kilometer by 15 Kilometer. There are two big sub sections one is Arbab and second is Malik.

Arbab residing in Tehkal Peshawar are known as Khalil tribe and the Khalil Arbab belong to the Metakhel sub-section of Ishakzai . The Metakhel hold their ancestral property, including the Garhis, revenue free on payment of only one quarter of the assessments. Astanzai the sub section of Khalil tribe living in Sufaid sung, Shahi Bala, Shahi Payan and surrounding villages.

Arbab residing in Landi Arbab Peshawar are known as Momand tribe and there villages from Badaber, Kagawala, Musazai, Surizai, Sulimankhel, Bazidkhel, Mashokhel, Sheikhan, Matani, Pasani, Hazaar khwanay, Bahadur Kalay Maryam Zai, Aza Khel, Adezai, Yousaf Khel etc and surrounding area last village is Landi Arbab. These are Southern villages of Peshawar city and situated South East from Khalil Trib. The MOMAND Tribe take start from village Adezai and the end point is Landi Arbab. There are five main sub divisions of the Momand tribe living an above villages.

  • Isa Khel
  • Wand Khel
  • Bhai Khel
  • Surizai
  • Musazai

University of Peshawar[edit]

Khalil Pashtun tribe notable individuals Arbab family, such as Arbab Ghulam Haider Khan Khalil helped Sahibzada Abdul Qayum Khan founder of the Islamia College University in Peshawar. reputedly, Sahibzada Abdul Qayum Khan traveled to Peshawar for studies and as there were no hostels available at that time, he decided to live in a mosque. In 1911, after completing his education and holding various government posts, he came back to Tehkal Bala and asked the Khalil Arbabs to sell the land which is now the site of Peshawar University to build the college there at that time it was whole one University of Peshawar but by the passage of time and need of other Universities these days we have four Universities build on Khalil's land which was given or purchased by different athuraties and governments.

  • Islamia College University
  • University of Peshawar
  • Khyber Medical College
  • Agriculture University Peshawar
  • Engineering University Peshawar
  • Forest College Peshawar
  • P.C.S.I.R Laboratory Peshawar
  • B.I.S.E. Peshawar

Khalil's World Champion Squash Players[edit]

  • Hamza Hidayat Martial Artist Son of Mr.Hidayatullah, Grand Son of Malik Abdul Aziz


  1. ^ Tate, George Passman. The Kingdom of Afghanistan: A Historical Sketch, 1911. Page 14.